Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Plain Tired

i just got back a little while ago from the old age center, where i volunteer every tuesday. today is a jewish fast day. i believe, that it ends sometime around 8:00 p.m. or a little sooner.

i am exhausted! we went to a wedding yesterday in the town of bnai brak. it is quite a schlepp to get there. the chupah was called for 6:15 p.m. and we got there early for a change. the zefat brigade usually makes it by a split second. we left at 2:30 p.m. and it was a bit tricky to get out at that hour all dolled up in a shaitel and full makeup. i wore about three layers of black lacey clothing.

i was running late and called a cab to take me to the designated bus stop. at the last minute, i switched handbags and forgot to transfer my money. luckily, i have known the cab driver for a long time and i will get him the money soon. i gulped down a cold coffee before i left and figured that i could get another one on the road.

at the break, i started craving something sugary. i have been eating a bunch of dried fruit lately but didn't bring any along. i really wanted a frozen chocolate bar but i couldn't find any with the correct hecksher. we were the first ones to arrive at the wedding hall so we stood around watching the families get photographed for what seemed like, quite awhile.

there were fancy cakes set out but nothing more substantial, like fruit or nuts. i guess i have become accustomed to the sephardi way of serving tons of appetizers before the wedding meal. i grabbed a chocolatey, krispy thing in a baking paper and tried to enjoy it but i soon tasted the margarine and chemicals and threw it a away. what i really needed was a cup of coffee. i asked a waitress if there was any coffee to be had and i was told no. she offered me hot water but it just wouldn't do the trick. i thought about having some cola but i really don't like the stuff. i simply, kept to drinking water.

after the chupah, the meal began. we were all pretty much, starving. there were some israeli salads set out and a huge plate of fresh grated vegetables. we all munched out on the fresh salad. i think that they refilled our dish three times. bread never tasted so good! by the time the first course arrived, i was stuffed. i opted to wait for the main meal. we got up to dance and i felt a little woozy. i was also, too full to dance. i usually dance on an empty stomach. i managed to twirl around frantically for a little while until the main course was served.

they brought over, yet, another plate of the sliced raw salad. i had a portion of chicken because the smell of meat was nauseating me. i ravaged the chicken like it was going to be my last meal forever. i didn't bother having any rice. it was almost time to go and i still didn't see any coffee. they served brownies with non dairy icecream but no coffee. i made my way through the hall, congratulating all the family members on the beautiful wedding and went downstairs to find the bus. we were all lost and floundering in our way back.

we left bnai brak at 11:00 p.m. and i fell asleep almost immediately. i felt the beginning of a painful eye attack coming on. i was too tired to get off the bus at the break and didn't feel like drinking plain black coffee. i calculated that according to jewish dietary laws, i could drink a coffee with milk at 4:00 a.m. the fast began at 4:30 a.m. so i watched television until about 3:45 a.m. and then fell asleep. by then, i was way too tired to get up and make a coffee, anyway. my legs ached from dancing, too.

i heard gal leave with the baby, but i was too tired to get up at 8:00 a.m. i finally, woke up at 9:00 a.m. and couldn't move. i blew off the old age center. at 10:00 a.m. i got up and showered and decided to go. i called a cab but once again, they came late. i didn't get to the center until almost 11:00 a.m. i figured that a little help was better than none at all. it turns out that the driver from the bus last night is the husband of the worker that i volunteer with every week. what a small world!

i am going to try to get over to the palates class soon. i really pulled my back out at aroebics last week. i am determined to get back in shape this summer. i have had three days off from babysitting this week and i miss my sahar very much. i hope i get to have him tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


yesterday, as i was getting out of the cab to visit the seniors, the driver showed me pix of his two grandchildren. he went on and on about how wonderful and adorable they were and then told me that, in all honesty, he loved them even more than his own kids. he said it was like the fruit of the tree one plants.

i absolutely agreed with him. i adore every moment with sahar. well, almost every moment. last night, when he woke up screaming and couldn't be consoled for over an hour, i actually didn't adore him. i wanted to shake him and scream for him to knock it off. i couldn't care less that his teeth were coming in. i wanted him to shut up.

it reminded me of when i was a parent. i had zero patience when zvi would cry. i remember holding him up near the window, when he was just a baby, and telling him that if he wouldn't stop crying i would toss him out. how horrible!

i think the reason we love our grandchildren so much, is that we don't have the obligation of raising them. that's why we call them 'grand' children. it's simply grand to be able to play with them and feed them junk and not worry about every little thing. if they get sick, the parents have to deal with it. we don't have to worry about which schools to pick or if we should vaccinate or not. it's not our problem.

in all honesty, sahar is a much better natured little baby than zvi was. he is a climber, which zvi wasn't and he is much more aggressive than zvi was. i do not see the similarites so much. zvi didn't get his teeth until about 10 months and sahar seems to be following in this tradition. none the less, sahar doesn't really remind me of zvi or bring back fond memories of being a mother. i am the grandmother. i am a good 58 years older than this little boy. i have no fantasies of raising him.

i love to kiss him and bite him and tickle him and talk to him. i like to dance with him and fall asleep with him. i also love the fact that i get to give him back to his parents. i get to relax and get on my blog when i want to. i pray very hard that i will live long enough to see him through his first haircut, his bar mitzvah and his wedding. who knows? perhaps i'll live long enough to be a greatgrandmother. my poor mother missed it by three months. i think of her often and try to emmulate the type of grandmother that she was.

i had the morning off and gal's oldest sister watched sahar upstairs, today. i gave him a bottle and put him to sleep in the stroller at 9:00 a.m. she then took over until 4:00 p.m. i did go up at 3:00 p.m. and make him some baby cereal and another bottle. he was in a good mood and was clapping along to the mtv videos. i was not that pleased with his watching it but i'm only the grandmother.

i got to check out a pilates class yesterday. it was definately, doable, but not so easy. luckily, i didn't strain anything. i felt a bit elated afterwards. i intend to continue once a week to begin with. i'm even tinking about going back to aroebics this evening after a year's break. we shall see.

i was supposed to start the house repairs today but i couldn't get started. if i don't need to watch sahar tomorrow, i'll hopefully, get busy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Week

it's 9:00 p.m. on sunday night in the holy city of zefat. i didn't fall asleep until around 5:00 a.m. i got up and went to yoga. gal took sahar to her mother so i was free all day. my back was killing me but i dragged myself up the street for exercize.

i got home about 10:30 a.m. and hit the sofa for the rest of the day. i stayed in bed and only got out to find things to eat. i had some cheese, tahina, salad, nuts, veggies, eggs and a bit of peanut butter. i watched a bunch of third rate t.v. until sahar came home.

i watched him for about an hour while his mom took a walk. he just started crawling on all fours and is not happy sitting on my lap at this point. he wants action. when he stands up holding onto bookcases and chairs, i see how difficult it will be to baby proof the house. i crawled after him for a while and he loved when i screamed out that i'd get him. mendush also loves this.

the kids want to go out soon so i'll go upstairs to babysit. i'll have him with me for the entire day tomorrow. i hope my back feels better so i can take him out for a walk. it would be nice to visit my sister while mendush is over. the two little boys could crawl around together. we shall see.

i am trying to knock off the 8 pounds that i put on and it's not easy. i crave sweets and fruits which aren't permitted on the south beach stage 1 diet. i could just kick myself for gaining all this weight. i don't know why i gave myself permission to go wild and eat up so many containers of ice cream. i was finally getting back into my clothes and now it's puffed out stomach again.

i have a bar mitzvah in zefat next week and a wedding in bnai brak that i feel obligated to attend. i don't like going out at night. my friends want to get together on thursday night for a joint birthday party at the pizza shop. i want to honor their birthdays, but i don't eat pizza and hate to go to town at night. i also had enough of my birthday celebration this year. i ate, way too much, cake and ice cream and i got way. too many knick knacks. i would prefer if the ladies came up here for a barbecue in the garden. i guess they don't want to leave town to come up to the burbs even though it's only a 10 minute cab ride.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Motsei Shabbat

shabbat is over and it is now 9:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. i was alone today as i was too tired to walk over to visit my sister. the kids went to gal's family for shabbat. the family brings in the shabbat early. they eat around 6:30 p.m. where as we usually start at 8:40 p.m.

at 6:00 p:m i was all dressed and ready to join them but zvi asked me to wait here for my cousins, who were coming to zefat. he had brought two bottles of wine from work for them and wanted me to present them. i was not in the mood to be alone this weekend. i sometimes relish it but not yesterday. i was definately feeling sociable and wanted to get out. perhaps, it were the dozen or more ice coffees that i had scoffed down, who knows?

i waited for a while and realized that it would be too late to join the sephardi family so i called my sister to say that i'd love to join them. they were all excited that i was coming. it's been ages since i went there on a shabbat night. i lit candles at 7:30 p.m and finally left my house at 8:15 p.m. as there was no sign of my cousins coming.

i got to my sister's after 9:00 p.m. but noone was there yet. one niece was in the bedroom sleeping and my other niece, husband, and baby were also at home resting. my brother-in-law was suffering with a toothe ache and had taken a remedy and was ready to call it a night. he couldn't believe that i had shlepped out on such a hot night. he said that i should sleep over.

everyone came into the dining area at 9:45 p.m. for kiddush. we are usually winding down the meal at that hour. the two invited guests from the local keruv center hadn't shown up so we started the meal. at 10:00 p.m. there was a knock at the door. the guests finally arrived and we all scurried about and made places for them. one of the guests happened to mention that his two favorite places in the world were zefat and new delhi, india. what an amazing "coincidence" considering that my niece and nephew ran the chabad house in delhi and are planning on returning, shortly.

the other guest was learning some type of physical fitness technique that he went on about for far too long. he was only 25, so i gave him a lot of attention. my brother-in-law passed out on the couch and we went on without him. that was some remedy! we entertained the guests til around 1:00 a.m. and then i got up to go home. my niece, kindly invited me to stay at her apartment for the night but i needed to get home. i had worn my wig and couldn't think about wearing it again in the morning. i wanted to be home for the dogs and i also wanted a change of clothes.

i made my way home rather slowly as my shoes were not the best for walking distances. surprisingly, there were loads of people outside at that hour. i got back at 1:40 a.m. and read a bit and passed out on the couch. i woke up and couldn't move. my back and feet were aching and i was too tired to do my morning prayers. i only had one coffee and went back to bed. i finally got up and davened at 2:00 p.m. and had a meal of tuna steak and chumus. i had a whole wheat roll and some nuts, cheese and yogurt for dessert.

i finally went back to bed and fell asleep at around 5:00 p.m. i gave up on going to visit the sephardi family for third meal. a short while later, i heard a knock on the door. it was my cousin checking to see if anyone was home. i invited him in but he was hesitant to bring in the entire bunch because they had travelled on the sabbath. they didn't want to offend but they definately, wanted to say hi. we rarely see each other except for once every couple of years. they usually show up without any prewarning and never stay to have a meal.

i invited them to join me downstairs in the garden for a cold drink. i quickly brought down glasses, drinks, cookies and grapes. it was shady and breezy and very beautiful. i didn't bring down the watermelon, icecream, and nuts and dried fruits that i had bought for the occassion. they seemed in a hurry to get going. it was nice to connect with them even though it was on shabbat. i walked them out and wished them a safe journey. i then began to feel guilty. i thought about how i should have tried to detain them or implore them to stay until shabbat ended. on the other hand, i thought that it's not my job. i was welcoming and non-judgemental and perhaps that will count in the long run.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Just Another Erev Shabbat

it's 3:30 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. up until about an hour ago, i was taking care of baby sahar. his teeth have still not broken through yet. he has his miserable moments, but is mostly very active and smiley.

i was hoping to have been able to plaster the bedroom wall downstairs, but it's just too late to start the project now. i stripped the wall of the layers of moldy plaster on wednesday. i was on a roll. i made 'pesach' cleaning in the master bedroom and polished all of the furniture in the apartment. i actually painted the bedroom wall, which was damaged by the water leak. zvi rehung the antique mirror because i absolutely couldn't lift it. the house was looking and smelling fresh, once again. i even gave the dogs a flea bath so that they would also smell fresh.

yesterday, the entire apartment was covered in an infestation of tiny ants. i couldn't find the ant spray, so i threw around buckets of water. once again i cleaned the floors. this was really puzzling because there weren't any crumbs on the floor or counters. there were even ants on the dining room table. i was not in the mood at all.

i watched sahar on sunday but made it to yoga with the help of michal. gal brought him to her mother's on monday, tuesday and wednesday. i didn't complain one little bit. i got to clean up the house and rest. i made it to the senior citizens' center on tuesday and it was a good thing that i went. the regular day worker was out and i got to really help out.

i had sahar all day on thursday til about 8:00 p.m. last night, the kids wanted to go to town with sahar but he wanted no part of it. i had the pleasure of his company until about midnight. i watched him this morning til about 2:00 p.m. i hand washed a bunch of his clothes with a new and powerful detergent. i'm really trying hard to get the laundry up to par so that i can keep my maytag top loader downstairs when the kids move in. the problem is that i don't have a hot water cycle. we had 3 plumbers in and noone was successful in fixing the problem.

my air conditioning unit officially died last week. i usually only use it about 3 times all summer but i can't afford to replace it. i've had calls all week long about renting the downstairs but none actually committed to any dates. people from the center of the country want airconditioning. they don't know how cold it gets here in zefat at night. i gave everyone a low price but so far, it's a bust.

i can't decide what to do about shabbat. the kids are going over to the clan. they bring in shabbat early. i could go along for the ride but i'm feeling a little weird.
perhaps, it's the heat. i threw together a tuna steak and some boiled eggs just in case i stay home. i bought some really yummy whole wheat challah rolls. and i have tons of salad greens to play with.

my back is hurting me and i'm a bit out of it. zvi hasn't come back from work yet. perhaps, i just need a long cold shower to feel better. i'm probably a bit dehydrated. all i've drunk today, is coffee. i wish everyone a good shabbat!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me

in the last hour of my birthday on sunday evening in the holy city of zefat, i want to wish you all good health, peace at home, and lots of happiness from your children.

i made it to my yoga class this morning. that was my present to myself. michal watched sahar for an hour so i could go. he was a joy to be with today. he was back to his usual mischevious and smiley self. we both passed out together on the couch. i woke up abruptly to something jumping off the couch. i thought for one awful moment, that sahar had taken a plunge, head first off the couch. i held my breath and waited for the thump and the scream. it turned out that it was one of the dogs. sahar was lying on the other side of me fast asleep. what a scare!

i fell asleep about 5:00 a.m. this morning. last night the kids and michal threw me a surprise party. i was kind of expecting it but really got surprised in the end. i started singing 'happy birthday to me' on shabbat. no one joined in. i was a bit taken back by the lack of interest in me. i figured that everyone was burnt out by the heat wave and the long working week. i shabbat rosh chodesh treat. the ice cream was tastier than ben and jerry's.

i cooked up a storm on friday and caught up on tons of laundry. i worked frantically until candle lighting. the dinner was bountiful and really tasty. we had fish and salads and kugel for lunch. we feasted on watermelon, grapes, carrot cake, and ice cream for dessert. i woke up on saturday morning with an excrutiating pain in my eye. my face also started going puffy and numb. i quickly took a remedy.

after shabbat, michal surprised me with a homemade rye, lemon and butter cake in the shape of a rose. my long time friend, judy came over with a bunch of scented candles and goodies, too. i was in the middle of washing the kitchen floor because i had a hunch that someone else might be coming over. after a while, i gave up on the idea.
michal suggested that i might feel better if i get dressed. i was in a shabbas robe all weekend. i figured that people were coming over after all. after a while, i gave up on the idea of a party.

gal left to pick up her wig because she had a wedding the following evening. zvi begged me to watch sahar while he showered. i still thought that maybe there was the hope of a party, but gal returned shortly afterwards and we said goodnight. i figured that maybe we could have some of the ice cream cake that i had bought, the next day. i went downstairs feeling a bit dejected and when i reached my apartment, gal's entire family were there to greet me and wish me 'mazel tov'. gal's mother made a last minute chocolate cake that was still warm and the kids brought a huge bunch of balloons.

gal gave me a beautiful picture frame with various pix of sahar and i cried when i saw it. there was one with me holding sahar and my face didn't look twisted. it was a good thing that i had bought the ice cream cake and lots of drinks and snacks for shabbat. i also had a stash of party plates , napkins, and cups. the party ended after midnight and i couldn't fall asleep. the kids bought me a beautiful necklace and matching earrings. right now i'm off to ny sister's for a birthday dinner.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday Night

it's 11:00 p.m. in the holy city of zefat. the kids just went upstairs and sahar finally fell asleep. i started my babysitting stint this morning at 8:00 a.m. zvi brought him downstairs as soon as gal left for work. i needed a little time for myself. i needed the bathroom, a coffee, and to get dressed and then i was ready to go.

sahar was extremely whiney and uncomfortable. he couldn't drink his bottle because he's teething and he was really over tired. he pulled an all nighter last night. i put him into his stroller and despite his screaming to get out, i rolled him around the neighborhood until he passed out. the poor baby caught roseola from his cousin mendush, who came for dinner last week. sahar had a fever of about 103 for the past few days and was really not himself. yesterday, his body was covered in a rash. that's how we knew that it was roseola and not just the teething. today his face was covered in a rash. zvi was pretty upset that his cousins brought mendush over while he was sick.

according to the books, after the initial 3 day fever stage the body rash continues for another 3 days and it is non - contageous at this point. sorry doctor spock, but i have to differ with you. apparently, it's viral and there's nothing much to do about it except to bring down the fever.

in the afternoon, after his nap, sahar woke up in good humor. he smiled and actually wanted to read his book and sit on the floor. he has been attached, literally, at my hip for the past few days and my back is killing me. he suddenly had his appetite back and i was able to shovel in cereal, banana, yogurt, and baby fruit sauce. he also had tons of bambas too.

i took him to the local supermarket while he was asleep and he woke up and started crying. i quickly ran to buy some more bambas. i bought way too many items, and i didn't know how i was going to schlepp it all home on the stroller. i was very lucky that my next store neighbor came in at that moment and drove me home, groceries, stroller and all. i was afraid that i might not be able to fold the carriage but i managed. when we got home, i had another coffee and sahar had more cereal, banana and bambas. he also drank a bottle of apple juice.

his parents didn't come home until 9:00 p.m. i was just beginning to get a bit worried. sahar was desperate to nurse and go to sleep. he did not want another bottle of formula. no way! gal hadn't eaten all day so i quickly made some whole wheat spaghetti and a salad for her. i thought that i had to take care of the baby tomorrow and i was a bit pressured to start cooking and do the laundry. luckily, gal informed me that she was not working tomorrow so i decided to call it a night.

she offered to buy the chicken and challah tomorrow. this will save me from having to go out. thank goodness, the house is nearly immaculate. my cousins are planning a quick visit tomorrow. they always come before shabbat and leave right before it begins. i want to do most of the cooking early so i can clean up my bedroom and do the laundry. i want to make up for last week's fiasco.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Shuk Day

it's 11:30 P.M. in the holy city of zefat. i just finished cleaning the house. i still didn't get to do the master bedroom but perhaps i'll get around to at least, hanging up my clothes, tomorrow. i had a late start this morning. i didn't start to fill the buckets of water til around 1:00 p.m.

i washed the bathroom and threw around tons of water. unfortunately, there is no drain in the bathroom, so i have to drag all the water through the entire house and out the front door and down the stairs. i also cleaned the blog room and t.v. area. the water was full of dog hair and turned dirty brown. i lost track of how many buckets i filled. just as i threw the first few buckets of water around, michal came over to visit. i was not the most congenial hostess. i kept on mopping and throwing more water. i was desperate to get the house clean and fresh smelling once again. hours later, i did stop to serve michal and zvi some hot dogs and baked beans.

i was on a tight schedule because i have sahar with me tomorrow and friday. the kids decided to have shabbos here this week. i'll take sahar with me to the supermarket tomorrow. it's a 20 minute stroll. my birthday is saturday night and i want to buy a small cake from the bakery. i could have the kids take me out to rosh pina for coffee and dessert but it will be much cheeper this way. if i buy some icecream i'll have to keep it upstairs. i have gone through over a gallon of icecream by myself, lately. i gained nearly 10 pounds and i am not proud of myself.

i think i'll make something more festive for friday night. last week's shabbat meal was a near disaster. i planned on making meatballs for the meal. i defrosted a bit of chicken and fish from a previous shabbat meal. i made several salads, the usual potatoes and eggs that no one eats anymore, and i made a rather, tasty potato kugel. i put up the tomato sauce and started to make the meatballs. i somehow, got it into my head, to add fresh minced parsley and cilantro. i also added a bag of dried onion flakes to boot. i made lovely balls and threw them into the pot. i checked to see how they were cooking and i noticed that they were disintergrating into the sauce.

now normally, i could have made a meat sauce for spaghetti if it were during the week, but this was shabbat night. i had only three chicken legs, which were not reheating that well. the fish was not defrosting at all. i desperately, drained all the ground meat into a huge strainer and made balls out of them. this time, i added some oatmeal. once again, they began to disintergrate into the sauce and i once again, strained all the meat from the sauce and added more oatmeal. i decided to make huge balls with this awful, glutonous, mixture and stuffed them into artichoke bottoms. this time i decided to bake them in the fleishig toaster oven. wouldn't you know these suckers wouldn't bake.

i took the semi- defrosted cooked fish and put it into the oven. i added sliced potatoes and prayed that it would taste okay. it was moments before candle lighting and i was in tears. i was so bummed out about the failed meatballs, that i couldn't feel happy or relaxed. as soon as zvi came home and made kiddush, i made myself a tall glass of watermelon juice and rum. it hit the spot. nobody really cared about the meatball fiasco. everyone was satiated and full. the dogs liked the meatball concoction, just fine. i served a frozen strawberry yogurt pie for breakfast and nobody complained. i had made the pie earlier in the day, when i was still hopeful. i even schmoozed on the phone for an hour with my good friend from efrat. who knew what was to come up later in the day.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

i'm waiting for zvi to bring down his portable dvd player so i can comfortably, watch the meryl streep movie about julia child on my sofa bed. i could sit in the rocker and see it on my computer screen but i'd much rather watch in a horizontal position.

i have been watching little sahar who has had a rather high fever due to his teething. i took him by myself, to the doctor on sunday and gal met me at the office. i called a cab as he was really burning up. in spite of the fever, he was in one very friendly and sociable mood. he smiled and talked to the nurse and really showed off for the doctor, who called him a "macho". he now weighs nearly 20 pounds. is there any wonder why i'm always tired after caring for him all day long? anyhow, the doctor said he wasn't sick. so i bought some baby aspirin and took him home. he was so alert and responsive to everyone who said hello to him. it seems like a lot of people were trying to make contact with him, including the pharmacist.

i gave him some gerber baby fruit sauce when we got home and a bottle of formula. he ate and drank it all down and went to sleep for about 4 hours. he woke up and drank another bottle and went back to sleep until his mom came home from work. i was beginning to get a little nervous that he was sleeping so long. later that night, we all went to gal's parents' for a surprise birthday party for her mom. sahar seemed a bit cranky but sociable. he bounced a hellium balloon on his head for a while and ate a bunch of bambas.

i watched him yesterday and the poor thing hung on to me for dear life for 10 hours. i didn't even get to drink a coffee. i only put him down to go to the bathroom. he slept for the most part of the day. i also passed out with him in my arms. what a day! i still didn't do my shabbat dishes and the floors are a mess. i have about a quarter inch of dust over all of the apartment from last week's dust storm. sahar is going over to safta miriam's again tomorrow and i am going to do a 'pesach' cleaning of my house.

i went to the old age day center this morning and actually worked the entire morning like a paid worker. i gave out the appropriate activities and worked with one of the men. i gave bertha her knitting, rachel and prachia their embroidery, murry his drawings, david the sets cards, and yehuda his clock puzzle. i put on a cassette and sang along to the songs with the group. i set up the chairs for the rav's lecture and helped feed one of the men at lunch. i speared fruit onto kebab sticks. i was alone with the group for almost an hour. i was very much in charge and felt very confident. one guy did get away from me but he only went as far as the bathroom and returned right away.

i then went to the unemployment office. they set up a mock shrine on the desk of the worker who was killed in the bus accident. there were several memorial candles burning. i doubt that they would do this in new york. i then went to the second hand clothes store in the maul and bought a bunch of sleeveless tops to wear over my long sleeve tee shirts to cover my big belly. they are a bit clingy and i don't know how modest these shirts really are. i may be a lttle too old for this look.

i then went over to a friend's for coffee and the next thing i knew, it was already evening. i got home around 7:00 p.m. and made myself some eggs. i gained back nearly 8 pounds. shame on me! maybe i'll try palates tomorrow.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

midnight in zefat

it's 12:05 a.m. in the holy city of zefat. my two nieces, nephew, and great nephew just left. we finally got to have dinner together. we have all been so busy this past week that it was hard to schedule a time to meet and eat. i just finished all of the 'washing up', as my friend from australia, calls doing the dishes.

i got to go to yoga this morning because my good buddy, michal, watched sahar for a couple of hours. we went to a sheva bracha last night and on the way home, michal decided to sleep over. we searched high and low until we finally found a cotton turtleneck and some comfy pajama bottoms for michal to sleep in. i had to cut off the sleeves and the turtleneck from the shirt, so that michal wouldn't die in the heat.

we shared a cheese omelette and mock fruit platter for breakfast before we went upstairs to get sahar. it was too bright and hot to walk to yoga so i had to cab it. i did manage to walk home. i had the nicest cab driver, moonie, on my way to yoga. his son was killed when his bus was blown up in a terrorist attack about 5 years ago. it was his only son and daniel was only 15 when he died. moonie, the cab driver always gives out blessings and cheer to his passengers. he has a two year old grandson who was named after his son, daniel. little daniel chai gives his grandpa moonie, the hope and joy to go on. may he have lots of blessings from him!

i decided to make a vegetarian meal tonight. i was inspired by last night's sheva bracha, where everyone brought a dish. i especially enjoyed the bulgar and chumus dish. i ended up making a bit of fish for those who wanted some. i had two tuna steaks in the freezer so i threw in a few sweet potatoes and white potatoes and cooked it in some white wine. i added a lot of garlic, basil, cherry tomatoes and red peppers.

i also made stuffed peppers. it was the first time that i baked them instead of cooking them on the stove. i only had half of a can of tomato paste so it wasn't as saucey as usual. i filled them with a rice mixture of sauteed celery, onions, white raisins and chopped blanched almonds. i threw in a little bit of green cabbage for additonal crunch. i broke away from the south beach diet to enjoy the meal tonight. i am slowly, slowly, losing the eight pounds that i recently gained.

i made a tabouli salad which is usually made with bulgar, minced tomatoes and cucumbers. the sephardim chop in a lot of cilantro but i used parsley tonight and substituted quinoa for the bulgar. i added fresh garlic and lemon and a bit of fresh mint. nobody realized that i forgot to add olive oil to the tabouli salad. it is very healthy. i also made some tahina salad at the last moment.

i made half a package of whole wheat sphaghetti for those who didn't eat quinoa or stuffed peppers. i made a chinese noodle dish using a sauce that i made from soy sauce, garlic, honey and oil. i also sauteed thin strips of red and yellow peppers to add to the sauce. there wasn't any spaghetti left over. come to think of it, there wasn't any food left over except for one piece of tuna steak and a few pieces of steamed fresh cauliflower.

i made a large green lettuce salad with a little red onion. i made a fruit salad with sliced fresh apricots, green grapes and melon balls. we had 6 flavors of ice cream to dish out. i managed to bake a banana loaf cake earlier in the day, while sahar napped. i even defrosted some of the chocolate cake that i had made for shavuot in the shape of the 10 commandments. i sent home most of the cake with my married niece. i feel like making cookies tomorrow. and i'd love to make a strawberry yogurt pie for lunch.

i am detoxing from televison, and have gone two whole days already without watching more than a half an hour here and there. i have been listening to chassidic music tapes and i'm almost ready to start dancing again. i'll start with 10 minutes a day and hopefully, work up to a half an hour. it feels clean again. i also want to start palates next week. my aroebics teacher returns from maternity leave in two weeks. so i'm thinking about returning after a year and a half. stranger things have happened.

i don't know if i'll make fish tomorrow or not for shabbat. i defrosted a package of chop meat and i think i'll make meatballs and some stuffed artichoke bottoms. i bought a jar of grape leaves so maybe i'll roll up a few with the chopmeat filling. who knows!. i'm on a roll i'd love to give you some of my recipes, but i'm notorious for never doing the exact same thing twice.

bye the way, i watched a video to learn how to make a watermelon basket about 4-5 times and i finally opted not to make one. shabbat shalom!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


just got back from the old age center, where i volunteer once a week. i was quite ready to blow it off this morning. my grandson got shipped off to his sephardi grandmother and it was a day off from babysitting for me. it was also an out for me to goof off all morning long. i was so tempted to stay home but i felt obligated. i didn't rush there either. i washed the kitchen and hall floors and took a shower first.

i arrived at 9:45 a.m. i mean what the heck! i'm not getting paid, right? i guess i started to feel guilty. afterall, it is an obligation that i undertook willingly. and i suppose that i should make more of an effort to get there on time. when i arrived, the Rav was giving a torah class and a mini concert on the electric organ. the room was filled with mostly elderly women, who were very interested in the class.

i have to admit that i was very moved by the music this morning and clapped my hands, very freely. this encouraged the older folk to follow suit. everyone seemed to be pleased that i was there. they really do seem to like me and look forward to my company. i guess it's like i'm a pal and confidant, rather than a worker. my mother used to want my companionship more than my nursing skills, too. i guess the elderly want to be noticed and befriended. i make a point of greeting each and everyone in the program by their name and asking them how they feel. my hebrew is not easily understood by them, but they do have patience with me.

yesterday, i spent the entire day with sahar. he is a handful! the kid wants to get into everything. he is a definate climber and a grabber. he'll grab a glass cup or a knife or anything that he can reach and get his hands on. and he's fast! zvi found a piece of plastic bag in his mouth this morning. we have him contained, for the most part, in playpens these days. this morning he gave me a 'goodbye' wave from his car seat in the back of their car. it was very similar to queen elizabeth's signature wave.

we are once again, experiencing a heat wave. it is hot! that's all everyone is saying. it makes it quite difficult to perform the easiest of tasks. i actually, passed out on the couch yesterday, with sahar in my arms. he had passed out way before me. he is teething up a storm, but yet, we see no teeth. his father got his teeth at 10 months. i remember how suddenly he had a mouth full of teeth. sahar is drooling all over the place and his and my shirts are wet.

i just got home from town and stopped into the baby store to buy a proper high chair. we have one of those plastic seats that attaches to a regular chair but sahar keeps on lifting up the food tray. from where does an 8 month old baby get an idea to do that? i found a low standing rocking highchair near the garbage, but the swing part no longer works. i finally washed it yesterday, but sahar wanted no part of it. i hope he likes this new one. it's about time that he gets the chance to play and experiment with food without destroying any of the dining room cahirs.

there is a special meal tomorrow night, being given for the new bride and groom that were married last thursday evening. i'd love to bring some chocolate lolly pops in the shape of a groom and bride but it is a bit tricky to deal with in this heat. we'll just have to see what gives tomorrow.

i started listening to music yesterday. it was the first time in years that i actually put on a tape. it was so wonderful and relaxing. i must do this more often. well that's all for now. signing off on tuesday afternoon from the holy city of zefat. cheers!